NEWELL, W.Va. - A Columbus man is being held in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville on $5,000 bond after his arrest for DUI with a commercial vehicle.
Deputy Scott Little of the Hancock County Sheriff's Office responded to C. Hackett Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Newell around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday after owners reported vehicles delivered to the dealership were damaged.
Little said after speaking with the driver and conducting a field sobriety test, he charged John F. Strohm II with DUI. He said Strohm had the odor of alcohol on his breath, and a blood-alcohol level of .179.
Strohm was still in the Northern Regional Jail on Thursday, Little said. The trucking company is based in Illinois.
"Hackett's would normally be closed about the time the driver arrived," Little said. "They had a good sales day, though, and they were still there doing paperwork."
Strohm was driving a Freightliner car-hauler semi, which Little referred to as "an 80,000-pound missile" with the driver in an intoxicated state. "Not only did he drive an 80,000 pound vehicle while drunk, he also drove the four vehicles off the trailer."
Little said there were four vehicles on the trailer and at some point along Ohio Route 7, he "wrecks into a few things and just annihilates the vehicles. They were scratched and one had a broken window," Little said. "He's not sure what he hit, or where. We're still looking into that, because he wasn't able to tell us."
Strohm didn't think the business was open, and unloaded the vehicles, Little said. He said C. Hackett owners believe Strohm was not going to come into the business. He planned to leave the damaged vehicles in the lot, and drive away.
"He wasn't going to claim responsibility for the damage," Little said. "He remembered hitting something, but he didn't remember where. I asked if he reported it, and he said no, that he was going to report it later. The owners said they think his plan was to leave and then say the vehicles were vandalized in the lot after he delivered them."